By Milda Urban
Everybody knows yoga’s physical benefits – it increases flexibility, strengthens your muscles, trains your ability to concentrate, and much more. But we can assure you – there is so much more than just training your body! Training your mind and spirit is just as important.
That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 books you need to read to get the full understanding of yoga and how it can benefit you physically, mentally, and spiritually.
If you are a beginner, there are many ways to learn more about yoga and the advantages of the yogi lifestyle – books are a big part of it. As there are so many books about yoga, you can totally get lost in the search. So today, we made a list of five books for yoga beginners. We tried to include books with diverse viewpoints so you could get to see the big picture of yoga benefits, which is a lot more than just a simple workout.
So this is our list of Top 5 amazing yoga books you must read with our short overviews. We hope the books will be a useful guide for you on the road to becoming a true yogi!
K. S. Iyengar “Light on Yoga”
If you are a yoga beginner and don’t know what to start with, my recommendation is to take “Light on Yoga”. It has been called the “fullest, most practical and best-illustrated book on the subject with more than 600 illustrations”. The guru explains what yoga is and then gives detailed examples on more than 200 yoga postures in the book. This book is true enlightenment written by a true master! B.K. S. Iyengar is said to be the vest yoga teacher, and he is among 100 most influential people in the world. We picked this book because it lays an excellent background for further findings. And at least one of the greatest Iyeangars book must be on your reading list (he wrote a bunch of them)
Charlotte Bell “Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice”
When you start to know a little bit more about yoga, the great fear comes “how to actually apply ALL of that to everyday life? Sadly, sometimes people think that the yogis lifestyle is too unrealistic for today’s life and finishes their yoga path with this question. Suppose you are now at this breaking point. In that case, Charlotte Bell will dispel your doubts in no time. ” Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide For Everyday Practice” is a great book where Charlotte writes about her struggles while trying to apply the Yoga Sutras’ eightfold path and the Buddha’s heed mindfulness to her Western life. When you are reading the book, you really see the reflection of your path! It makes you understand that you are not alone having a rough time trying to make a significant change in life.
Leslie Kaminoff “Yoga Anatomy”
If you have already taken a step to a yogi life and now wondering how asanas can actually affect your body grab this book, and you will be a pro in no time! Leslie Kaminoff is said to be a “rational yoga teacher, who doesn’t seek to extend his spirituality beyond the material plane. So his book concentrates on explaining every part of asana in practice: from breathing to standing poses, how each muscle is used, how to enhance or reduce the effectiveness of each pose, how everything in the body is linked. We can assure you that there won’t be any questions on how yoga affects the body after reading this book.
Stephen Cope “Yoga and the Quest for the True Self”
If you want something different from Leslie’s book, we recommend reading Stephen Cope’s “Yoga and the Quest for the True Self”. In the book, he demystifies the philosophy, psychology, and practice of yoga. The combination is really unique, and the result is an amazingly interesting and worth taking time to read. Cope shows how to apply yoga to our daily difficulties and shows how practicing yoga can help you heal all nowadays sufferings. He manages to compound two totally different worldviews – psychotherapy and yoga and explains how to make the best of it.
Sakyong Mipham “Turning the Mind into an Ally”
Lastly, we want to mention Sakyong’s “Turning the Mind into an Ally”. The title really says it all about the book. When our thoughts are overfilled with the stress, anxiety, sadness, every day’s routine and all of today’s life disturbances, it is easy to get lost in your own mind. This book is a guide on how to obtain peace and clarity. Strengthening, calming, and stabilizing the mind is the essential first step in accomplishing nearly any goal, and this book can help you find the guidelines for achieving that. Sakyong Mipham is the head of the Shambhala Buddhist lineage, and he really masters the skill of explaining people’s spiritual potential in a modern way.